The second annual RevFest may take place on March 15 in Fort Walton Beach, but its roots lie with a Crestview band leader.
Michael Flatau, New Earth Army's bass player, said he and fellow band members were driving back from a Tallahassee gig and started discussing the need for more opportunities to connect local bands with local audiences.
"We said, 'You know what, we need to do our own festival. We need to so something in Okaloosa County,'" Flatau said.
With backing from KC's SandBar and Grill in Fort Walton Beach, the first day-long Revolution of Art and Music Festival, shortened to RevFest, was held last year during a drenching downpour.
"It was awesome," Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce executive assistant Jennifer Pierson and RevFest volunteer said. "It poured rain but we packed KC's all day long. We had a lot of fun."
Pierson described the music attendees will hear at RevFest as "jam band stuff — kind of bluesy, some reggae, some funk sound."
Two chamber members, UpBeat Music in Crestview and Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, will be integral; the former will lend sound equipment expertise and the latter will benefit from some of the ticket proceeds.
The festival, hosted by New Earth Army, achieved its goal of being an event that is especially attractive to local audiences, Flatau said.
"Our idea is that, even though it is in the middle of spring break, it is primarily for locals to come out and enjoy something," he said.
"That's what it is about: Doing something for the local community so they can see what we have to offer here in the area."
By keeping admission low — advance tickets are just $5, door price is $10 — area families can enjoy an entire day of regional music and visual art. Some all-day festivals charge $25 or $50 a day, Flatau said.
"If the people of the community feel they can go to an event that is not really expensive, it will draw more of your everyday person" instead of just band groupies, Flatau said.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Second Annual Okaloosa RevFest, a regional art and music festival including bands New Earth Army, CopE, Hotel Oscar, the Owsley Brothers, and The Applebutter Express.
WHEN: Noon to 2 a.m. March 15
WHERE: KC's SandBar and Grill, 190 SE Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach
TICKETS: $5 advance at www.OkaloosaRevFest.com; $10 at door; 12 and under free